Leadership, Supervision, and Management Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Although variously used interchangeably, the terms management, supervision, and leadership are manifestly different in meaning. It would be prudent to define each term with an aim of highlighting the key differences between the three.

In my opinion, management is the deliberate and systematic effort to steer a group of people towards the accomplishment of clear and specific organizational goals. On the other hand, supervision is the hands-on and active direction of people towards the discharge of specific duties. Lastly, leadership is an approach towards guiding and inspiring people towards the achievement or attainment of various aims or realization of defined plans.

A comprehensive review of literature indicates that the terms highlighted above are different in meaning. Management, according to Katz (as cited in Algahtani, 2014) has got to do with “exercising direction of a group or organization through executive, and supervisory positions” (74). In the workplace, therefore, leadership could be practiced when those charged with running or overseeing various departments assign their subordinates tasks, sanction those found to be contravening organizational rules and regulations, etc.

On the other hand, leadership, as Northouse (as cited in Algahtani, 2014) could be defined as “a behavior; a style; a skill; a process; a responsibility; an experience; a function of management; a position of authority; an influencing relationship; a characteristic; and an ability” (74). Thus in the workplace, leadership could be practiced by way of motivating employees to be more efficient, successfully overseeing change, etc.

Lastly, there are those who define supervision “as the guidance and oversight of an expert or a more experienced person” (Salvador and Salvador, 2016, p. 64). In that regard, therefore, in the workplace, supervision could be practiced by overseeing the production of a specific product, training new employees on organizational culture, etc.

In the final analysis, therefore, it is clear that the teams highlighted in this discussion are inherently distinct. A good example of a leader would be a political figure such as Nelson Mandela of South Africa. A good example of a manager would be a business executive such as Jack Welch. On the other hand, a good example of a supervisor would be those who play behind the scene roles in an organizational setting as they seek to guide others on specific organizational undertakings and tasks.

Sources Used in Document:


Algahtani, A. (2014). Are Leadership and Management Different? A Review. Journal of Management Policies and Practices, 2(3), 71-82.

Salvador, J.T. & Salvador, S.J. (2016). Transforming Organization through Instructional Leadership and Supervision (TOILS). European Journal of Scientific Research, 12(31), 62-69.

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